A 1968 law barring users of illegal drugs from owning firearms was struck down Wednesday by a federal appeals court, which ruled that the law violated the Second Amendment. Patrick Daniels of Mississippi was arrested last year after police officers, searching his vehicle during a traffic stop, discovered several marijuana cigarette butts and two loaded firearms: a 9mm pistol and a semi-automatic rifle, according to CNN. Although Daniels did confess to smoking marijuana regularly, it is unknown if he was under the influence at the time of his arrest since he never underwent a drug test. By admitting his drug use, he was in violation of federal law that bars any person who is an “unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” from owning a firearm. Daniels was convicted and sentenced to nearly four years in prison and three years of probation, according to CNN. However, his conviction was thrown out by a unanimous three-judge panel on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled the law violated the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.” The panel cited the Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision in a New York cast that the amendment protects an individual’s right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense, Reuters reported. That ruling narrowed the legal framework that lower courts may use when deciding on gun restrictions, and required that such laws be “consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition,” the 5th Circuit decision stated. “In short, our history and tradition may support some limits on an intoxicated person’s right to carry a weapon, but it does not justify disarming a sober citizen based exclusively on his past drug usage. Nor do more generalized traditions of disarming dangerous persons support this restriction on nonviolent drug users,” U.S. Circuit Judge Jerry Smith, a Ronald Reagan appointee, wrote. “Just as there was no historical justification for disarming a citizen of sound mind, there is no tradition that supports disarming a sober citizen who is not currently under an impairing influence,” Smith wrote. “The Founders purportedly institutionalized the insane and stripped them of their guns; but they allowed alcoholics to possess firearms while sober.” “In short, neither the restrictions on the mentally ill nor the regulatory tradition surrounding intoxication can justify Daniels’ conviction,” Smith wrote. In a concurring opinion, U.S. Circuit Judge Stephen Higginson, an appointee of Barack Obama, heavily criticized the Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling, which he wrote has been used in an “inconsistent” manner for “dismantling of the laws that have served to protect our country for generations.” “Such decisions will constrain the ability of our state and federal political branches to address gun violence across the country, which every day cuts short the lives of our citizens,” Higginson wrote. “This state of affairs will be nothing less than a Second Amendment caricature, a right turned inside out, against freedom and security in our State.” The circuit’s ruling only covers Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi, but the precedent it sets could extend to cases across state lines – including to that of Hunter Biden, who is facing a similar charge. Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, is accused of lying about his use of illicit drugs on ATF Form 4473 when he bought a .38 revolver in 2018. The big difference with Biden’s case, however, is that he has previously admitted to being an addict of cocaine who was “smoking crack every 15 minutes” near the time that he purchased the firearm. Additionally, marijuana is legal in many states while cocaine – a much more potent and potentially deadly drug – is not. This could ultimately be the deciding factor, should Biden’s legal team attempt to liken his case to Daniels’. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.